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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Egypt has never been as politically stable as it is today, says RenCap regional boss

Renaissance Capital MENA CEO Ahmed Badr squarely disagrees with the political risk argument. Instead, he sees a potential growth in inflation as the biggest risk facing the reform agenda. “Egypt has never been as politically stable as it is today … So I don’t think the presidential elections actually represents any risk and the security situation is completely fine,” Badr told Bloomberg TV. “I’m more worried about the potential for inflation to rise again in July, simply because of the subsidy cuts,” he added. It is with that mindset that he feels the CBE will approach the monetary easing cycle. “I expect the CBE to keep interest rates as high as possible for as long as possible.” Badr notes how the CBE has traditionally beaten expectations by general being more conservative on monetary policy.

As for the positive macro outlook, you’ll get no arguments from Badr on that. With signs including USD being available for investors, market sentiment across all asset classes for Egypt is positive, a far cry from the hesitant approach investors took just one year ago, says Badr.

You can catch the full interview here and cycling forward to minute 40:00 (watch, runtime: 47:59)

Saudi follows in the footsteps of Egypt: Badr also see parallels between the rise in inflation in Saudi Arabia and the spike in Egypt’s inflation a year earlier. He also drew parallels between the skittish reactions of the markets to both country’s inflation figures. Likewise, Badr expects to see a pickup in investor interest in Saudi Arabia as it goes through its own economic reforms (watch, runtime: 2:16).

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